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Homemade beef stock - how long in the freezer? Should I vacuum seal?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am sure this has been covered, but a search yielded far too many results :/

 

I started making my own beef stock recently.

 

Cow bones - roasted, then simmered in water with some lemon for 12 hrs

Add: herbs (rosemary, tyme, sage, bay leaves) carrot, celery, onion, garlic, salt, peppercorns, simmer for another 2 hrs

Separate liquid from solids, and strain through a common strainer (not through cheese cloth)

 

The result is a nice, thick, gelatinous, yellow-brown stock that is not translucent, and has some sediment that drifts to the bottom. I pour the stock into Mason canning jars, but do not vacuum seal them; I just tighten by hand

 

I have heard differing opinions on how long a stock like this will stay in the freezer. Bearing in mind, this is a consumer frig.... I do not know the temp of my freezer, but if that  becomes vital, I can go about finding out. I would venture to say it's about average.

 

So, the first Q I have is do I need to vacuum seal the jars? Or is that dependent on how long I wish the stock to keep?

 

Secondly, how long can I expect the stock to keep, both vacuum sealed, and not?

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffwraith View Post

I am sure this has been covered, but a search yielded far too many results :/

I started making my own beef stock recently.

Cow bones - roasted, then simmered in water with some lemon for 12 hrs
Add: herbs (rosemary, tyme, sage, bay leaves) carrot, celery, onion, garlic, salt, peppercorns, simmer for another 2 hrs
Separate liquid from solids, and strain through a common strainer (not through cheese cloth)

The result is a nice, thick, gelatinous, yellow-brown stock that is not translucent, and has some sediment that drifts to the bottom. I pour the stock into Mason canning jars, but do not vacuum seal them; I just tighten by hand

I have heard differing opinions on how long a stock like this will stay in the freezer. Bearing in mind, this is a consumer frig.... I do not know the temp of my freezer, but if that  becomes vital, I can go about finding out. I would venture to say it's about average.

So, the first Q I have is do I need to vacuum seal the jars? Or is that dependent on how long I wish the stock to keep?

Secondly, how long can I expect the stock to keep, both vacuum sealed, and not?

Thanks in advance.
Now you have me questioning my own method. I've always been paranoid about glass cracking in the freezer, so just let the broth cool and throw in good quality plastic Tupperware. Easy stacking if you have space issues and use the flatter variety, and in a pinch have also let it half freeze then double ziplock baggied it. Maybe there is something wrong with this practice that I've overlooked, so would you mind giving me some background why you choose jars?

To answer your question, I've never had any quality loss, but I also tend to use mine up before six months. Maybe I just get lucky.
post #3 of 7

It all depends on the head space left at the top of the jar.

Air is the enemy of frozen food.

 

Of course you will need to leave some room to account for the expansion but how do you judge if there is enuf/too much?

 

Way too much for me to worry about.

 

I freeze in ice cube trays , pop them out and toss into a good quality bag...

My stock disappears way too fast to get icy.

 

Question for @riffwraith do you really use so many spices and herbs (and salt) in your stocks?

Doesn't it get a bit strong when reduced?

What about when you have a recipe that garlic doesn't go with?

 

Just askin'..

 

mimi

post #4 of 7
At an old job we froze in ziplocks, fill 1 gal ziplocks 1/2 full and then lay flat on sheet trays to freeze. After that they can be stored upright.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses. :)

 

I've always been paranoid about glass cracking in the freezer

 

Well, I am not knowledgeable enough to say that will never happen, but after throwing warm liquid into the jars, and then immediately throwing those jars into the freezer - and doing this a number of times - no cracking has occured. Maybe if the glass were thinner? But the Ball jars and Mason jars are pretty thick, so...

 

so would you mind giving me some background why you choose jars?

 

Simple - it's the easiest and best thing I could think of. Pour the liquid into a jar, secure the lid, put in freezer. Take out to thaw, unsecure lid, pour out liquid.

 

do you really use so many spices and herbs (and salt) in your stocks?

 

Wouldn't have said I did if I didn't! :p

 

Doesn't it get a bit strong when reduced?

 

For some it might, but not for me. I cook veggies in the stock, cook rice in the stock, some meats (liek shortribs), shrimp, scallops... It imparts a good flavor into whatever I cook in it.

 

What about when you have a recipe that garlic doesn't go with?

 

I have NO recipes that garlic doesn't go with!!! Cooking without garlic is like baking an apple pie without the apples. Why would you do that?!?!

 

But seriously, the answer is no. If you were to drink the stock, you don't taste garlic.

 

Cheers.

post #6 of 7
I freeze in canning jars but fill them, chill them, and then freeze with top off or loose. Once frozen I tighten lids. That allows expansion. Only once had a broken jar it think it hit a counter hard when freezer was being reorganized.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffwraith View Post

Thanks for the responses. smile.gif

I've always been paranoid about glass cracking in the freezer

Well, I am not knowledgeable enough to say that will never happen, but after throwing warm liquid into the jars, and then immediately throwing those jars into the freezer - and doing this a number of times - no cracking has occured. Maybe if the glass were thinner? But the Ball jars and Mason jars are pretty thick, so...

so would you mind giving me some background why you choose jars?

Simple - it's the easiest and best thing I could think of. Pour the liquid into a jar, secure the lid, put in freezer. Take out to thaw, unsecure lid, pour out
Fair 'nuff. You apparently have a lot more space in your freezer and aren't as clumsy as me😜
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